Apples, apples everywhere at the farmer’s market – spilling out of my refrigerator! So, time for a healthy twist on dessert for a post-New Year’s after dinner (or breakfast the next morning!) treat. Not too sweet, crunchy, fragrant, and filled with the perfume of heritage apple varieties and warm spices – this treat leaves you wanting yet another piece!
3 C crisp apples peeled, cored, quartered and sliced thinly
1/2 C dried cherries, raisins, or dried cranberries
1 pastured egg (extra large or jumbo)
1/2 C organic cream or creme fraische
1 T maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice, nutmeg and cloves
1 C white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 C old fashioned oatmeal flakes
2/3 - 3/4 C brown sugar (see Note below)
1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C melted unsalted organic butter
3/4 C chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, blend together the dry ingredients for the topping. (If sugar is lumpy – be sure to break up bits using a food processor or your fingers.) Add melted butter and combine with a fork until uniformly moist. In a smaller bowl combine the ingredients for the liquid mixture. Prepare apples.
Use 1/2 topping on bottom of buttered 9x12 pan. Sprinkle cherries, raisins or cranberries on next. Add apples evenly over bottom crust and pour liquid mixture over all. Add rest of topping ingredients, being sure to cover all apples. Top with chopped nuts. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool and refrigerate if not serving within a few hours. Remove 1 hour before serving.
Note: For sugars, I used a mixture of Demerera and Muscovado sugars for a truly unique flavor. We served this with a little whipped and lightly sweetened crème fraische with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The tang of the crème fraische was a perfect complement. You can make this dessert in the morning or the day before, refrigerate it and remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving. The flavors will have intensified.